Saber Rattling Escalates as North Korea Threatens Preemptive Strike Against US

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The saber rattling between North Korea and the United States escalated Wednesday as the communist nation threatened preemptive military strikes against the United States after President Donald Trump promised to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continues its aggression.

North Korea’s state-run media threatened a missile strike on the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam and said the communist nation would “turn the US mainland into the theater of a nuclear war” at any indication of an impending American attack.

North Korea’s bellicose message follows Trump’s remarks at his Bedminster, New Jersey, resort on Tuesday. “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States,” he said. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

The president’s remarks are more threatening than any made by previous American presidents. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has sought to reduce the tension with Pyongyang in recent weeks.

North Korea’s threat against Guam, ceded by Spain to the United States after the Spanish-American War, was in response to the United States flying two B-1B bombers from the Pacific island over the Korean peninsula on Monday. A report in North Korea’s state-run news service KCNA said that a strike on Guam, which is just over 2,000 miles from North Korea, would be aimed at containing U.S. military bases there.

In a separate report, KCNA said North Korea was looking beyond Guam and would hit the U.S. mainland with preemptive strikes, using nuclear weapons, should there be any sign the United States planned to strike North Korea first.